SAN FRANCISCO — The Phillies are off on Monday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be action in the organization.
The Major League Baseball draft commences Monday night and the Phillies hold the third pick.
The Phillies are likely to take a college player with the focus being on a pair of infielders, third baseman Alec Bohm of Wichita State and middle infielder Nick Madrigal of Oregon State. The Phils have also considered University of Florida pitcher Brady Singer.
Look for the Phillies to end up with one of these players though things could change if Auburn University pitcher Casey Mize does not go to Detroit or San Francisco with one of the top two picks. All indications are the Tigers will indeed take Mize at No. 1 with the Giants taking Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart.
Bohm is a 6-foot-5, 225-pound power hitter with the contact and strike-zone management skills that the Phillies front office likes.
Madrigal is a 5-7 dynamo, line-drive hitter with excellent contact skills and a high baseball IQ. He is similar to Scott Kingery, though he makes more contact and seldom strikes out.
The Phillies do not have a second- or third-round pick. They forfeited both for signing free agents Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta. After No. 3, the Phils' next pick will come at No. 107. The No. 3 pick comes with a bonus slot of $6.9 million.
Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies scouting director, has indicated that the Phils will spend their first pick on a college player.
“It's a very strong college pool of players,” Almaraz said. “But I'll tell you one thing, there's a lot of pitchers out there. A lot of pitchers. A lot of pitchers with arm strength and the ability to pitch. So with that being said, I see a lot of clubs moving in that direction where we're going to try and get on these college players pretty quickly.”
Last year, the team took University of Virginia outfielder Adam Haseley with the eighth overall pick. Haseley is playing at Single A Clearwater of the Florida State League. He was hitting .275 with a .315 on-base percentage, three homers and 28 RBIs in 46 games.
In 2016 and 2015, the Phillies selected high school outfielders Mickey Moniak (No. 1) and Cornelius Randolph (No. 10).
Randolph, 21, is struggling at Double A Reading. Through 45 games, he was hitting .190 with a .518 OPS. He had just six extra-base hits in 158 at-bats.
Moniak, 20, entered Sunday hitting .251 with a .589 OPS in 50 games at Clearwater. He was riding a nine-game hitting streak.
Almaraz said the Phillies’ preference to go the college route high in the draft was not shaped by the struggles of Randolph and Moniak.
“No, not at all,” he said. “We drafted certain players because we believe in their offensive ability. They're young. If you look at them as a whole, they're doing well. They're on track. We've been very aggressive with them. We feel very positive about them.”
In 2014, the Phillies took college pitcher Aaron Nola of LSU. He has blossomed into a stud and could be an All-Star next month.